West Harlem Came After Central Harlem

I don’t want to bore people too much with a bunch of maps, but it’s interesting to note that West Harlem (Hamilton Heights and Sugar Hill) came well after Central Harlem (which as we saw last time came after East Harlem)…

In my last posted I showed that the period of lots of street openings in Central Harlem was around 1869 to 1872. Looking at the interactive maps on the NY Times, you’ll see the streets in Sugar Hill were opened in the mid 1880s – about 15 years after Central Harlem. Here’s a map from 1884 showing that many of the streets in Sugar Hill hadn’t been opened yet (they were opened a year or two later)…

Remember that actual development (not just street openings) was well under way in Central Harlem by that time.

When you look further south to Hamilton Heights you’ll see that the prime blocks there (the ones currently landmarked), weren’t built until the mid 1890s. Here’s a map from 1892 showing that streets like Hamilton Terrace weren’t open yet.

So in general East Harlem came first, then Central Harlem, then Sugar Hill, then Hamilton Heights.

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